The drill programme follows the September 2019 closing of the company's funding of US$4.8 million to advance the Graphite Creek pre-feasibility study (PSF) work, targeted for completion in the 2nd quarter of 2020.
"Our 2019 drilling programme is expected to provide technical information we need for the PFS and will add to our understanding of the Graphite Creek deposit," said Anthony Huston, president and CEO of Graphite One. "With the growing demand for graphite in electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries and other energy storage applications - and the inclusion of graphite on the US Critical Mineral List - we see the Graphite One deposit as a potentially significant new source of advanced graphite for decades to come."
The US remains 100 per cent reliant on foreign supply of graphite, despite the US Geological Survey listing the resource as one of the 35 minerals and metals that are vital to the country's security and economic prosperity. Graphite One's deposit in western Alaska remains the largest known source of graphite in the US according to the World Bank, global graphite demand for clean energy applications alone - primarily electric vehicle batteries and energy storage systems -- is expected to rise by 383 per cent between now and 2050.
Approximately 800m of HQ core drilling are planned for the 2019 drilling programme to provide geotechnical information for open-pit mine design and to determine ground conditions in proposed infrastructure sites. Graphitic carbon assay data will also be collected from the 2019 drilling programme and will be included in an updated resource estimate for the PFS.
In addition to the proposed 2019 drilling programme, site visits and fieldwork by the PFS engineering team have been completed, additional environmental baseline data has been collected and community outreach programmes continued during the 2019 field season.
"The 2019 drilling programme will provide important geotechnical information required by our engineering team to evaluate alternatives for various aspects of the Graphite Creek Project and advance mine design concepts for the PFS," said Stan Foo COO of Graphite One (Alaska) Inc., the company's US subsidiary, who is directing the 2019 drilling programme. "We look forward to unlocking the value of this unique, large flake graphite deposit".
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